NCDP Clips for Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
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20 charged during protests at NC Legislature face judge (AP) — A North Carolina judge is easing the bond conditions for 20 demonstrators facing trespassing and fire code violations while protesting Republican policies at the General Assembly.
Deeds officials dislike marriage bill, Reisinger says (Asheville Citizen-Times) — Most of North Carolina’s registers of deeds don’t like a bill that would allow their employees to opt out of issuing marriage licenses says the man who is register in Buncombe County, Drew Reisinger. Reisinger said late Monday afternoon that 51 registers who responded to a survey he and other registers conducted last week through Mondaysaid they have an unfavorable view of the bill, Senate Bill 2. Three said they have a favorable opinion and the remaining 46 hadn’t responded, he said.
Register says survey shows ‘lack of support’ on marriage bill (Raleigh News & Observer) – -A survey of the state’s registers of deeds indicates a lack of support for Senate Bill 2, which is now pending a veto override vote in the House.
NC gun rights bill sent back to committee ahead of vote (AP) — A bill that would repeal North Carolina’s pistol-permit application system has been sent back to a legislative committee amid mounting opposition to the measure from county sheriffs who currently approve or deny handgun purchases.
Right’s scheme: Made-up “religious freedom” protection to gut same-sex marriage (SALON) — As the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality in Obergefell approaches, it is a good time to review the status of proposed state “religious freedom” bills. These are, in part, a component of the far right’s efforts to reframe their decades-long war against every advance in societal acceptance and legal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans into a noble effort to protect “religious liberty.” … In May, the North Carolina Legislature passed a bill that allows government officials to refuse to perform marriages or even issue marriage licenses when they have a religious objection. This would apply not only to LGBT marriages, but also to interracial or any other marriages. … A Supreme Court decision upholding LGBT marriage rights would be an enormously important result. It is clear, however, that it will not put an end to debates about marriage equality and religious liberty.
POLICY & POLITICS
Nationwide Analysis Advises Against North Carolina Retirement (Public News Service) –Seventy-five-year-old Ken Cowick and his wife moved to Cary from Michigan with their retirement in mind. What’s top of mind now for the stroke survivor is that the Tarheel State seems increasingly less supportive of its retiree population.
DOT Sec. Tata says he is not running for Congress – for now (Raleigh News & Observer) — Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata, whose name entered the mix last week about a possible run for Congress, said Monday in a memo to state transportation employees that he isn’t going to jump into the race.
SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES
How Right-Wing Political Machine Is Dismantling Higher Education In N.C. (The Nation) — On a Monday afternoon in April, a few dozen people gathered in a windowless room in Raleigh to discuss the crisis in higher education. “The main problem has to do with the ideas that are being discussed and promoted,” explained Jay Schalin — those being “multiculturalism, collectivism, left-wing post-modernism.” Schalin is the director of policy analysis at the John William Pope Center for Higher Education, a right-wing think tank funded by discount-store magnate Art Pope, the conservative kingmaker who helped flip the state legislature to the Republicans in 2010 and bankrolled the 2012 election of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
Corporate Giants Work to Protect North Carolina’’s Renewable Energy standards (Energy Exchange) — What do current and former executives at Apple, Facebook, Google, Bank of America, and Duke Energy have in common? They all believe in expanding renewable energy in North Carolina, where the legislature proposes to gut the clean energy policies that have made the state a national leader in solar energy. At stake is the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS), which requires utilities to get 12.5 percent of their energy from sources such as solar and wind by 2021. Lawmakers want to freeze the target at six percent, which happens to be the current level.
Looking beyond the decline in abortions (Burlington Times-News) — People will certainly try, but it would be difficult to read much politically into news that abortions are in decline nationwide and sharply in North Carolina. After all, fewer abortions are being reported in states where new laws have made it more difficult to have them and in states where abortion rights are protected. The number of abortions is going down in red states, blue states and all the in-between states. So let’s all agree that a decline in the number of abortions is good news, very good news. As pro-choice President Bill Clinton famously said in 1996, abortion should not only be safe and legal, but rare. While we concur on all three, we’re in particular agreement on the last one.
UNC-CH must address the culture that led to NCAA charges (Raleigh News & Observer) — Though the NCAA huffs and puffs about rule-breakers, its “penalties” never have amounted to much: lost scholarships, perhaps a probation, a temporary ban on post-season play. The truth is, neither the organization nor its member schools care much for punishment. People make mistakes. Uh, oh. Oh, golly, we’re sorry. They didn’t mean it. We don’t want to hurt the kids.
Confronting a lag in acceptance of LGBT people in the South (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Steven Petrow: With marriage equality now the law in North Carolina and 35 other states, it’s easy to assume that LGBT acceptance is a fait accompli. But in 27 states gay people still can be fired simply because of their sexual orientation. And bullying and violence are on the rise.
The price of winning (Greensboro News & Record) — Landing an auto manufacturer is like signing a superstar quarterback. It costs big money. Is the state willing to pay?